C00KiE46
Senior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: Southern California

Is my sunflower a perennial or an annual?

[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3611.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3608.jpg[/img]
There about 8' tall.
Also, is there anything I can do to keep them blooming longer? They bloomed a little over a week ago.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27656
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

They looks like regular annual sunflowers.
I suppose the flowers will last somewhat longer if the plants are kept watered and not allowed to dry out, and I believe if they're pollen-free hybrids marketed for the flowers rather than standard seed-bearing variety, the flowers last longer.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I think all the large headed sunflowers like that are annuals. Was this its first year from planting? Perennial sunflowers have small heads and don't bloom the first year they are planted.

Depends on what you want it for. If you just want it to keep blooming, then deadhead it... as soon as the flowers are wilty and spent, cut them off. But if you do that, it won't make seeds. Sunflower seeds are what a lot of people grow the sunflowers for... either for themselves or for the birds/critters, who ever gets it first. If you want the seeds, you have to leave the flowers until they are thoroughly dry and the seeds are mature and dry.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

C00KiE46
Senior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: Southern California

Yes, I did plant them this year around April with my daughter. Now I just gotta figure out if I should deadhead it or not. Thanks.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27656
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

If they ARE seed-bearing variety, and you want to let them mature to seed (which is really a lot of fun for the kids to see the progression and full circle from seed-to-seed), and, also, if you plan to possibly eat them (very nutritious), some people recommend covering them with tulle netting to keep out the bugs that eat the seeds once they have been pollinated and the petals start to shrivel.

Sometimes, the grubs only get the peripheral seeds but sometimes they tunnel from one seed to another and do quite a bit of damage.

I cut the flower heads off once the back of the flowers turn yellow because after that, they're prone to getting moldy in my area if left outside. I pre-process by removing all dried petals and also most of the triangular bracts (you can catch the grubs in the peripheral seeds at this time too). I leave a long stem attached and use it to hang them from the ceiling (actually I used curtain rods) with a kitchen twine or string until they are fully dried.

You can eat the seeds or use them in birdfeeders. You could also make winter suet/dough/peanut butter ball with the sunflower seeds mixed in. You can get a lot more mileage from those sunflower seeds you and your daughter planted back in spring. :wink:

Return to “Flower Gardening & Garden Design”